Ryan J. Larsen

Research Scientist

Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology,  Center for Nutrition Learning and Memory,  Department of Animal Sciences, Department of Psychology, Department of Human Development and Family Studies
Address:   Beckman Institute, 405 N. Mathews Ave.,  Urbana, IL 61801
Email: larsen@illinois.edu


Dr. Larsen’s research uses MRI to study the physical correlates of cognitive performance, and how they relate to nutrition, cardiorespiratory fitness, and body composition. His research covers the human lifespan, including infants, children, young adults, and older adults. Dr. Larsen ’s research has employed a variety of techniques, including MR Spectroscopy, sodium MRI, relaxation parameter mapping, simultaneous EEG-fMRI, Arterial Spin Labeling, Diffusion Tensor Imaging, and Voxel-Based Morphometry. Dr. Larsen has also performed research on a variety of topics in materials science and mechanics, including rheology, stereology, materials synthesis, and the phase behavior of soft materials. Dr. Larsen holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard University.

Select Publications

Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Nikolaidis, A. et al. Multivariate associations of fluid intelligence and NAA. Cerebral cortex. 2017;27:2607-2616.

Larsen, R. J. et al. Body mass and cardiorespiratory fitness are associated with altered brain metabolism. Metabolic Brain Disease. 2020; 35(6): 999-1007.


Scavuzzo et al. The use of magnetic resonance spectroscopy for assessing the effect of diet on cognition. Nutritional neuroscience. 2018;21(1):1-15.

Morton S.U. et al. Maternal dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids correlates positively with regional brain volumes in 1-month-old term infants. Cerebral Cortex. 2020;30(4):2057-2069.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Physics

Tian L. et al. Large-area MRI-compatible epidermal electronic interfaces for prosthetic control and cognitive monitoring. Nature biomedical engineering. 2019;3(3):194-205.

Soft Matter Physics

Larsen R. J. et al. Viscoelastic properties of oxide-coated liquid metals. Journal of rheology. 2009;53(6):1305-1326.

Larsen, R. J. et al. Elasticity of dilatant particle suspensions during flow. Phys Rev E. 2010; 81:011502